21 Weeks Pregnant
Learn what's happening in week 21 of pregnancy and find out how your baby is developing.
At week 21, you're halfway through the pregnancy. Your belly is now very big and you may start to have to make some modifications to how you sit and stand up. Your baby is now the size of a large banana. You may find that you get breathless a little quicker and have trouble sleeping on your tummy.
What happens in your body in pregnancy week 21?
This week you start the second half of your pregnancy and you will probably notice the same changes you've experienced in the previous months.
Your blood pressure might continue to remain slightly lower than normal and will probably return to normal by week 25.
Your breasts may continue to grow larger and larger and they are probably prepared to produce milk. You may notice tiny drops of yellowish fluid on your nipples. This substance is actually the first breast milk known as colostrum.
At 21 weeks, you may start to notice Braxton Hicks contractions which are your body's way of practicing for labor. They aren't painful, but will increase in frequency and intensity from now on. Other common symptoms of pregnancy at 21 weeks include increased vaginal discharge and lower-back pain.
Changes in Your Body at 21 Weeks Pregnant
You may have noticed varicose veins appearing by now. Varicose veins are the result of the increased amount of hormone progesterone which relaxes the blood vessels in the body. They can also appear as a result of the increased volume of blood in pregnancy which puts the blood vessels under greater strain.
Your skin might be also itchy from stretching and you might notice some stretch marks on your breasts, tummy, and thighs. Rapid weight gain makes them more noticeable, so eat healthy and exercise. In this way, your weight gain will be slow and steady and you will prevent stretch marks from appearing.
Weight gain is one of the common pregnancy symptoms at 21 weeks. You will notice that you are starting to put on more weight. Over the next 10 weeks, you will probably gain almost half of your total pregnancy weight gain.
Your Baby at 21 Week of Pregnancy
Your little baby is the size of a banana and is about seven inches in length. Your baby now weighs almost eleven ounces and is gaining weight much more rapidly. The eyebrows are also fully developed.
Your baby is starting to develop the nerves that control the senses, enabling the sensations of hearing, smell, touch, taste, and sight. At 21 weeks of pregnancy, your baby swallows a bit of amniotic fluid each day for nutrition and hydration. In this way, the baby also practices swallowing and digesting. The taste of the amniotic fluid is different every day, depending on what you've eaten.
Pregnancy Week 21 Tips
You could try playing music to your little one this week. According to studies, babies can hear and react to the sound by moving in the womb. A research also showed that babies are able to recognize the same music after they have been born.
Continue to eat right and exercise regularly, because you have an active baby growing inside. Ask your doctor to recommend childbirth preparation classes that are suitable for you and your partner to prepare for labor and delivery.
Your body works hard to produce red blood cells, so make sure that you are getting at least 30 mg of iron each day. Focus on your dental health and don't let sensitive, bleeding gums keep you from brushing and caring for your teeth. You are more prone to gingivitis in pregnancy, so be consistent with flossing.